World leaders met in Montreal, Canada for a have reached their goal of raising nearly $13 billion dollars to fight three of the world’s deadliest infectious diseasesL: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
CCTV America’s Roee Ruttenberg reports from Montreal, Canada.
World leaders raise $13B to fight AIDS, TB, MalariaWorld leaders met in Montreal, Canada for a have reached their goal of raising nearly $13 billion dollars to fight three of the world's deadliest infectious diseasesL: AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
In 2014, nearly 37 million people in the world were living with HIV – the virus that causes AIDS. An estimated seven thousand girls – ages 15-24 – became infected every week.
That same year, nearly 10 million people became ill with tuberculosis.
And, nearly half of the world’s population – more than three billion people – found themselves at risk for malaria.
Activists say that world is at a tipping point. But, beating these diseases is within reach.
Every day, around the world, thousands of people die from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Thousands of lives lost from diseases that experts say could have been prevented.
Since 2002, the Global Fund has made eliminating all three epidemics a global goal by 2030. But doing so takes lots of money, for things like nets, screening tests, education and medication. The Global Fund currently pays for two-thirds of the drugs used around the world to treat the three big killers.
As world leaders gathered in Montreal to replenish the fund, this year’s host, Canada, called on governments to give graciously.
“This fight is bigger than borders. Let’s show our citizens what solidarity and strength look like. So please pledge with compassion, please with ambition, and pledge with hope for a better world,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
It’s a call many are answering
“The United States is proud to be the largest contributor to the Global Fund, and it’s why we’ve increase our pledge up to $4.3 billion through 2019,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom said.
Several recipient countries also announced their own pledges. Small, perhaps, in number, but grand in gesture.
“South Africa therefore pledges $5 million to this endeavor. We believe that it is this generation – our generation – that has the human and more responsibility to end these epidemics now,” South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said.
China was a Fund recipient until 2012. Domestically, Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan has become a visible activist in the fight against HIV. At the last Global Fund meeting, Beijing pledged $15 million, and says it will announce its new pledge in the coming weeks.
“We know that transnational issues need transnational cooperation. China, as we have done, will continue to support – to give moral, technical, and financial support – to the development of Global Fund,” Chinese Ambassador to Canada Luo Zhaohui said.
The Fund also welcomed growing support from business leaders and philanthropists, who it says must be a part of the solution. Singer Bono pledged $100 million through his charity, Red, and called on others to do more.
“The global fund is a tool as strong as we make it. And we can’t let up, I won’t let you, if you won’t let me,” Bono said.
This is effectively a fundraiser, with very real consequences. The Global Fund says its efforts, this year alone, will save two million lives. That’s more than the entire population of the host city.